Talking to family about our mental health can be really difficult. It can be daunting to start a conversation about it, and even tougher to help them understand. But we also know starting the conversation has loads of potential benefits — most importantly increased support and reassurance. And when you’re deep in anxiety or depression, this extra support can really make a huge difference.
We all know the phrase ‘blood is thicker than water’. But it’s that closeness within a family – and the complicated nature of our relationships with them – that can make talking to your family about mental health really difficult. The short film “Brothers”, written and directed by Huse Monfaradi and inspired by the real life experiences of one of the film’s lead actors Michael Workeye and his relationship with his older brother’s mental health struggles helps bring to life these difficulties. And we wanted to share some tips and advice on both how to talk to your family if you’re struggling, as well as how to reach out to a family member if you’re worried about them…
“I feel if I’d watched this film at that time it would have been incredibly helpful with me just feeling able to function, with me just feeling OK with the fact that a family member or a friend is going through this thing and not feeling swept up and lost by everything and the immense amount of guilt you feel by calling for help because you don’t know whether that help is actually going to hinder them or help them.”
We know families come in all shapes and sizes and your situation will be unique, but these should help.